TorteDeForm

Kia Franklin

Are you relaxing at home? Lucky you…

Happy Memorial Day!

If the weather is nice (it certainly is here) then I hope you can get out to a park or barbecue or picnic. Also be sure to get some nice relaxing time in at home, if you can. Unless your home is like one of those featured in this new study, Home Court Advantage: How the Building Industry Uses Forced Arbitration to Evade Accountability.

If that's your situation, I wouldn't blame you for staying away as long as you can.

I had the privilege of speaking with Michelle Rechtein, whose story is featured in the above report. The woman is a fighter. After speaking with her about her experience, no one can ever convince me that forced arbitration is fair, cost effective, voluntary, or any of the other lies we're told about it. Read the report. Or visit FairArbitrationNow's one-stop shop for more information about forced arbitration in the home building industry. And of course, you can browse TortDeform's archived posts on the issue, particularly those written by forced arbitration victim-turned-activist Jordan Fogal.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 8:11 AM, May 25, 2009 in Arbitration | Consumer Rights | Corporate Abuse | Housing | Mandatory Arbitration | reports and research
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Comments

You guys are ridiculous. I've concluded that Kia's real idol, other than the obvious ones is Jonathan Lee Riches, aka Irving Picard.

There is nothing that sucks the life out of this country like all of the pointless, meritless litigation that this site seeks to encourage

Happy Memorial Day anyway

Posted by: Avenger | May 25, 2009 9:25 AM

The report, Home Court Advantage, is fantastic. As a consumer org volunteer I've seen construction defects and biased arbitration processes ruin people who did nothing wrong, while their builder just keeps on going, harming others w/shoddy work and worthless warranties. If the builder knows he can depend on arbitration for a win, he has no real motivation to make things right.

If builders want fewer lawsuits there is one sure fire way to do that--build houses right and stand behind their work.

No one wants to sue anyone, nor is it as easy and profitable as tort reformers want the public to think. Most of the time homeowners benefit from the leverage being ABLE to sue affords them, but in practicality they may not be able to find a good lawyer to take what amounts to an unprofitable case.

Homeowners have to have a lawyer in arbitration, too, since the builder and warranty co's have lawyers.

A construction defect case can bankrupt a family, and quite a few foreclosures going on now are in new developments where the buyer was lured into using the builder's in-house lender, another potential trap.

Arbitration has hidden these complaints from the general public, making it harder for them to make informed choices. Arbitration has also forced disputes into a private, biased system where the company knows it's likelier to win. If it were not so beneficial to the corporations, then corporations would not be fighting so hard to keep arbitration clauses enforceable.

Just as the complaints themselves are kept under wraps, so are the complaints about the arbitration process. Many in the general public are unaware just how deep the problems in the housing industry are, and they are even less aware of the danger of private, industry-run arbitration. The Arbitration Fairness Act is needed now, to restore the Federal Arbitration Act to its original intent. That intent was not for corporate America to run rough shod over citizens.

Posted by: CS | May 25, 2009 1:11 PM

I purchased a house brand new in June 2006. In July 2006, "things' started happening to the house. The builder tried to patronize me and then when I resisted in that I wanted to know why my house was having issues, they got nasty. Now 2 1/2 years later, I am going to binding arbitration. My house which is only 2 1/2 years old has a foundation that has sunk 1 1/2" to 2". (to me that doesn't sound like a lot - but to an engineer that is a big number) The trusses in the attic are rolling over causing dips in my roof, which eventually will make the roof cave in. The house was built in a fashion (let's leave it at that), that the trusses have become the load bearing for the entire house (as it heaves and settles). The state tax appraised value of my property that I paid $294,100 in June 2006? ZERO, nothing, nada. The only value is the land and that is questionable. I did nothing wrong. I believed and trusted the builder to build a quality house that would withstand the soil environment. they did not. my sales contract states that my house would be free of defects at time of closing, and it was not.

So Avenger unless you are standing in the shoes of people who are screwed over by their builder, you don't have a right to judge. My question to you is - would you want to live in a house that was falling down around you? Would you sit back and allow the builder to get away with shoddy construction? Would you want to continue paying a mortgage on a house that is worth nothing? Think about it.

Posted by: SES | May 27, 2009 12:13 PM

This is really a nice idea to relax and sit at home when the weather is pleasant.But you can even Find Lawyer for solving your legal matters.
Amy Cooper

Posted by: Find Lawyer | May 29, 2009 5:18 AM

I have to agree that the above case is pretty ridiculous. The US has a knack for producing ludicrous court cases, but in all honesty I think it is best that that is an option for us.

In response to SES - your situation is horrible. This lawyer directory is a great place to find an attorney in your area that could help.

Posted by: Find Lawyer | October 11, 2009 11:26 PM

Wow, what a ridiculous case. I don't understand how any of these cases even go to court.

Posted by: Car Accident Attorneys | October 17, 2009 10:27 PM

It is baffling how cases like this even go to court. I just don't get it. SES, that sucks man

Posted by: Car Accident Attorneys | October 17, 2009 10:30 PM